KENTUCKY — A high school junior was arrested, jailed and charged with a felony Feb. 22 for making terrorist threats in writings found at his home, Winchester County police said.
George Rogers Clark High School student William Poole, 18, was arrested and detained after his grandparents found materials he authored and called police, said Clark High principal John Atkins.
According to a Web report from a TV station in Lexington, Poole said the material his grandparents found was a short story meant for his English class.
“My story is based on fiction,” Poole told Lex18.com. “It’s a fake story. I made it up. I’ve been working on one of my short stories, [and] the story they found was about zombies. Yes, it did say a high school. It was about a high school overran by zombies.”
Atkins disputed Poole’s account.
“The boy’s version was that he was writing a story about zombies and it was for a portfolio entry that was going to be turned in at school,” Atkins said. “The teachers aren’t aware of any kind of project like that. The word ‘zombies’ was not mentioned in the writings.”
Atkins said investigators and school officials were concerned because they perceived “a direct threat” to Clark High School in the writings, although the school was never mentioned.
“It did not mention [Clark High School or school officials] specifically but it did mention ‘the high school,’ and how many teachers were there and how long it would take the police to arrive once they received an emergency call,” Atkins said. “It implied very strongly that it was referring to this school.”
Atkins said law enforcement agents showed him the writings, which resembled “notes and a plan. … It sounded to be kind of an advertisement or recruiting to meet a goal, and a goal was stated which was very negative about the school.”
Poole said he was not threatening anyone, according to Lex18.com.
“It didn’t mention nobody who lives in Clark County, didn’t mention [Clark High School], didn’t mention no principal or cops, nothing,” Poole said.
Under Kentucky law, a person is guilty of terroristic threatening in the second degree when they threaten to “commit any act likely to result in death or serious physical injury” to students, teachers or employees of a school.
“A threat directed at a person or persons or at a school does not need to identify a specific person or persons or school in order for a violation of this section to occur,” the law reads.
Poole has been detained in the Clark County detention center since he was arrested. A court hearing is scheduled for next week, Atkins said.
–By Campbell Roth
LAW: Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. Sec. 508.078 (2001)